Everyone says to me: Beth, you’re an Indianapolis Image Consultant, how do I make sure I am always appearing my best?
That seems like quite the loaded question, but I do have some easy-to-follow rules to live by if you’re always trying to keep a good image of yourself in mind. Personal image is something we own as individuals, but it’s always good to reflect on ourselves to see if we’re portraying the image we want.
Indianapolis Image Consultant’s Tips For A Great Personal Image:
Avoid Ill-fitting Clothing
Clothes that are too big or too small, too long or too short look cheap and unkempt. They can make you appear sloppy or disorganized. Unless your clothes are custom-made, find a good seamstress or tailor to manage hems and such.
Give Yourself the Sniff Test
From bad breath and body odor to heavy cologne, people are turned off by strong smells. Unpleasant odors leave negative impressions. It’s good to know that, after a short time, your sense of smell becomes immune to a fragrance. Some people take it too far in the opposite direction and douse themselves in too much in perfume or cologne. Don’t be that person either.
Revealing Too Much
In a professional work environment, low necklines and short skirts detract from credibility. With that in mind, it’s helpful to always have a professional jacket on hand. A short sleeve shirt or sweater doesn’t cut it. When making a presentation or talking to upper management, throwing on a blazer will give off the impression that you mean business.
Watch Your Tounge
Your image isn’t portrayed just in what you wear, as an Indianapolis Image Consultant, I often remind my clients to watch what they say. Try not to speak negatively, gossip, tell off-color jokes or use profanity. These habits could be an instant deal-breaker. Why risk them.
Pay Attention To Others
When meeting someone for the first time, introduce yourself and give your “30-second commercial” if they ask what you do. Then, ask what they do and be honestly interested in the answer. People want to know you care before they want to know how much you know. Gain their trust by listening and engaging in what they are saying. Smile and nod your head to show interest and agreement when appropriate. Don’t hog the conversation or interrupt others.
Maintain A Professional Polished Look
Think about your office environment, even if you’re on Zoom for work right now. That doesn’t mean you get a free pass to show up for work in bed. When your face is the only thing people see now, your face is your personal image. Make sure your face is still kept. That means, men, shave if that is what you do; women, make sure your hair is clean, styled, and wear some makeup. As an Indianapolis Image Consultant, I try to maintain a regular morning routine because you never know when someone might want to do a Zoom consultation.
Your Background Is Part of Your Personal Image
Really look at the office environment you’re presenting in. On Zoom, where do meetings take place if they are not in a home office? Do we see exercise equipment, a bed, a kitchen mixer? These are not appropriate for a Zoom office setting and your co-workers and bosses will notice. On Zoom you can upload a background if what’s behind you is too distracting. Consider a background that is appropriate such as a solid color or a natural scene.
Your work office reflects you in many ways, too. As an Indianapolis Image Consultant, my eyes are immediately drawn to image breakers. Make sure your background isn’t distracting with too many family photos, kid’s artwork, a garden of plants, as well as political or religious statements. Also avoid non-work related magazines, shopping bags, gym shoes or clothing in your office. Your office should be a quiet place to think, not your all-purpose room. A very messy desk can give off an image of being unorganized. Watch out for and amusing slogan and inappropriate posters such as “You don’t have to mad to work here, but it certainly helps.” Or, If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullshit.” What you might find funny, might not appease all your co-workers. You don’t want your personal image to be tarnished by others thinking you have a nasty attitude.
Keep it sassy, Indy.
Beth Divine, MA, AICI Certified Indianapolis Image Consultant